“That rupture plunged him into anguish, like an explosion that caught him squarely and after which he set out to assess the state of his injuries. He did it in the form of songs, thirteen, that deal with the loss of love without beating around the bush “
A very painful break ended up shaping the thirteen songs on “Forever Blue”, Chris Isaak’s fifth album. Thirteen songs where he evaluates, according to Fernando Ballesteros, “the state of his wounds.”
REPRISE RECORDS, 1995
Text: FERNANDO BALLESTEROS.
There is no fifth bad, but in the case of Chris Isaak it was, perhaps, his best work. He saw the light a year and a half after his world, loving at least, fell apart forever. Or so he believed at the time.
“Forever Blue” appeared on the market in May 1995, but began to take shape at the end of October 1993, much to Chris’ dismay. Because It happened at the moment when Sonya Chang, until that moment her partner and manager, decided that their relationship had ended.
If it is true that so hackneyed that you create better with pain holding on well, Isaak had all the ballots to light a masterpiece. That rupture plunged him into anguish. He says it was like an explosion that caught him squarely and after which he set out to assess the state of his injuries. He did it in the form of songs, thirteen, that deal with the loss of love without beating around the bush. Come on, what’s known as a breakout album.
He did not do it in a premeditated way, apparently it happened almost automatically and on the spur of the moment. He wrote the songs on the album with disappointment and pain in full swing and believing himself the most unfortunate person on the planet.
And since things are about songs, we go with them. The album opened with ‘Baby did a without thing’, bluesy airs to start with a track that was released as a single but that he experienced success years later when Kubrick’s final film was included in ‘Eyes Wide Shut’, in a new fruit of the relationship between Chris and the cinema.
‘Graduation Day’ shines with country aromas and lyrics that look back to rescue dreams that were not fulfilled, while ‘Go walking down there’ is a clear step forward in the grieving process, in a way that begins with the loneliness of the one who he walks after having lost his girl and ends up gathering anger and showing the power of his voice.
But that anger leaves as fast as it had appeared to give way to the unmitigated sadness of ‘Don’t leave on my own’ and ‘Things go wrong’ in which Isaak’s throat reigns, possessor of one of those capable voices of transmitting a thousand emotions and with a personality that is proof of comparisons. You have to know how to win and lose, they teach us since we were little; knowing how to suffer is something else. Doing it with the class and elegance of this man seems like an impossible task.
In that suffering, ‘Forever Blue’ the title track is the turning point. He can no longer fall and is fully aware that she is gone forever. It is time to take it on and move on, not without first wallowing in grief again.
All that remains is to get up, so he does it with ‘There she goes’, almost happy if we compare it with the previous one, and ‘Going nowhere’ that quickens the pulse of the album and shows an Isaak that once again shows off a full performance .
In ‘Change your mind’ the catalog is expanded: not only does he give the best of the rock crooner who falls in love with his voice, but he allows himself to end up reciting and moving and ‘Shadows in a mirror’ and the optimistic ‘I believe’ in which begins to conceive the possibility of being happy without lost love, they are the prelude to the golden climax of a spectacular album.
‘The end of evertyting’ (there are titles that say it all) brings us to the end of the sad and beautiful journey of this “Forever Blue” to which the author, years later, tried to remove iron, assuring that he had not wanted to take anyone to her state of sadness when she conceived him because at the end of the day there are much more important things in the world than Chris Isaak and his problems. What I doubt is that there are many records as good as this one.
Previous installment of Operation Rescue: “Jacksonville City Nights” (2005), by Ryan Adams.
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“Forever Blue” (1995), the Chris Isaak